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Artist/Band/
Composer

Song

From Album

Engage!

 

Joe Tex You Better Get It Hold What You've Got (196?)

Engage!     Warp!

This record was brought into our studio in HORRIBLE shape.  The level of noise was incredible (it must have been played with carpentry nails), and had plenty of severe scratches.  The first few grooves of this song were unplayable, and there is a skip in the middle of the song.  However, now the music is at least listenable.  And this is an INCREDIBLE record!   

Our visitor Levi Gaston III writes:
ARRINGTON, JOSEPH, JR. (1935-1982). Joseph Arrington [pseud. Joe Tex, Yusef Hazziez], African-American soul singer, son of Joseph Arrington, Sr., and Cherie (Jackson), was born at Rogers, Texas, on August 8, 1935. He moved to Baytown at age five with his mother after her divorce from his father and attended school there. While in Baytown, Arrington performed song and dance routines to enhance his business as a young shoeshine and paper boy. He also sang in the G. W. Carver school choir and the McGowen Temple church choir. During his junior year of high school Arrington entered a talent search at a Houston nightclub. He took first prize over such performers as Johnny Nash, Hubert Laws, and Ben E. King-imitator Acquilla Cartwright. He performed a skit called "It's In the Book" and won $300 and a week's stay at the Hotel Teresa in Harlem. There, Arrington performed at the Apollo Theater. During a four­week period he won the Amateur Night competition four times. After graduating from high school in 1955, he returned to New York City to pursue a music career. While working odd jobs, including caretaking at a Jewish cemetery, he met talent scout Arthur Prysock, who paved the way for him to meet record-company executive Henry Glover and get his first record contract with King Records.
Arrington, now known as Joe Tex, introduced a style of music that has been copied by Isaac Hayes, Barry White, and others. In songs and ballads, in particular, he slowed the tempo slightly and started "rapping," that is, speaking verse that told the story in the middle of the song, before repeating the refrain and ending the song. The biggest hits of Joe Tex included "Hold On To What You Got," "Papa Was Too," "Skinny Legs and All," and "South Country," an album of Country and Western songs; his biggest seller was "I Gotcha," which went platinum (made 1,000,000 sales) in 1971.
In 1972 Arrington gave up show business and began a three­year speaking ministry for the Nation of Islam, which he joined in 1968. He became known as Yusef Hazziez or Minister Joseph X. Arrington. He said he was through with singing, and he would follow Allah and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. But after Muhammad's death in 1975, and with the approval and blessing of the Nation of Islam, Arrington returned to show business in order to deliver the Nation of Islam's message to his fans. He enjoyed moderate success, with no hit singles, until the 1977 smash hit "I Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)" put him back on the top of the charts. After that single, he left the music scene and performed at local clubs and benefits. Arrington died on August 12, 1982, of heart failure at his home in Navasota. He was survived by his wife Belilah and six children.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie, eds., The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (4 vols., New York: Macmillan, 1986). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. "Westward," Dallas Times Herald, December 13, 1981.
(Wow!  That is great info!  Thanks, Levi!)

Our visitor James Newborn (who calls himself "A Joe Tex Fan") writes:
Joe Tex was born Joseph Arrington in 1934 in Texas (I don't have the exact town) He was raised in the church and his father was a minister, I believe. He sang in the choir. Once in High school, Joe win several talent shows. One of the shows he won landed him on amateur night at the Apollo Theater. He won that one. In the mid-1950's, Joe had a few hits here and there, but nothing concrete. He had a record deal with Dial records. He was in the business for ten years until he got a break with the song "hold on to what you got: in 1965. It went to #1 on the charts. Joe's style was unconventional. It was soul, but different. Joe loved to sermonized in his songs. He was a story teller. He could make you cry, laugh, and contemplate at the same time. He uncanny laugh, cogent advice, and his down to earth and innovative style won him a lot of fans. In 1967, he had another hit "skinny Legs and All", which will make you laugh for hours. His other hits, such as "I believe that I going to Make it", "I knew him" and many others. In 1972, Joe became a member of the Nation of Islam and retired from signing. He changed his name to Joseph X and later Joseph Haizezz. But his retirement was short-lived. He came back in 1975, and scored some hits, such as "I A'int Gonna Bump (with no big, fat woman), "rubdown" "Wish upon a Star", and "the Woman Cares" and others that I cannot recall. He got into the disco trend, but never really changed his delivery, storytelling, and his versatile demeanor. In 1978, Joe retired again to his ranch in Texas. He did cut a few songs in 1980, which is now available under the title "Different Stokes", which is a collection of previously unreleased material from 1965-80. He was thinking about making a comeback again in the 1980's, but Joe Tex died of a heart Attack in 1982 on his ranch in Texas. He was truly a great musician, who wrote his own material, and got input from his fans. He would go to the barber shop and listen to conversations and incorporate some of that into his songs. He was a people person. The music world truly need a Joe Tex now. A side note, Joe Tex was one of the ball bears of the Late, great Otis Redding funeral in 1967. They were good friends. Some chat rooms that you can to and talk about Joe Tex and other musicians of his ilk is the Vintage Soul Club, which is a part of Yahoo chat room system. Also, the Classic Soul, ;70's style is a good play to go, also on Yahoo. One more is the Johnnie, Marvin, and Stevie chat room. It s dedicated to Marvin Gaye, Johnnie Taylor, and Mr. Wonder, but many people talk about other musicians as well.    (Thanks, James, for your interesting information!)

Our visitor Ber Wilbers writes:
If you wanna know more about Joe Tex use the following link http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Bqya9ke9t7q7x~C     Hope this helps you.    (Yes, it does. Thanks a bunch, Ber!)

Do you have other background information about Joe Tex or this song/album?  Please write: timemachine141@avconvert.com

Track courtesy collection of:
B.J., Orlando, FL.

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